Molecular phylogenetic analysis of the devil crayfish group, with elevation of Lacunicambarus Hobbs, 1969 to generic rank and a redescription of the devil crayfish, Lacunicambarus diogenes (Girard, 1852) comb. nov. (Decapoda: Astacoidea: Cambaridae)

Mael G. Glon, Roger F. Thoma, Christopher A Taylor, Marymegan Daly, John V. Freudenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

As North American crayfish biodiversity becomes increasingly imperiled, the ambiguous nature of the current taxonomic framework can impede conservation efforts. The taxonomy of the family Cambaridae Hobbs, 1942 has historically been based on morphology, but recent studies using molecular phylogenetic techniques have revealed taxonomic inconsistencies, including a polyphyletic Cambarus Erichson, 1846. We took a step towards increasing the taxonomic resolution of Cambaridae by investigating a group of primary burrowing crayfishes which were historically part of the Cambarus subgenera Lacunicambarus Hobbs, 1969 and Tubericambarus Jezerinac, 1993. This group, here called the devil crayfish group (DCG) because it includes the devil crayfish (Cambarus diogenes Girard, 1852), has a confusing taxonomic history and is in need of revision to inform conservation assessments. We tested the hypothesis that the DCG is monophyletic through phylogenetic analyses of mitochondrial DNA sequence data from multiple specimens of the eight DCG species and a broad sample of taxa representing approximately 70% of the species in what is currently recognized as Cambarus. Seven of the eight species from the DCG form a well-supported, monophyletic group that is distinct from the remainder of what has traditionally been recognized as Cambarus. Our analyses place the DCG as sister to a clade consisting of taxa from Creaserinus Hobbs, 1973, Faxonius Ortmann, 1905, and Barbicambarus Hobbs, 1969. Based on our results and on unique morphological and ecological characteristics, we split seven of the eight DCG species from Cambarus and elevate the subgenus Lacunicambarus to generic level to accommodate them. We redescribe Lacunicambarus and the devil crayfish sensu stricto (Lacunicambarus diogenes comb. nov.) and designate a neotype for the species to facilitate subsequent revisionary work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)600-613
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Crustacean Biology
Volume38
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Astacidea
  • Cambaridae
  • Conservation
  • Lacunicambarus
  • North America
  • Revision
  • Systematics
  • Taxonomy
  • Tubericambarus
  • INHS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science

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